The Toy Association welcomes new members from Build A Bear and Target to its Board of Directors

The Toy Association has welcomed two new members to its Board of Directors in Sharon Price John, president and CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop, and Melissa Millo, vice president of Toys at Target Corporation.

The announcement – which included nine term renewals – was made during The Toy Association’s Annual General Meeting held at Jacob K Javits Convention Center, open to all Toy Association members and attendees of its global marketplace at New York Toy Fair.

Ten members were elected to serve additional terms: Anne Carrihill, general manager of toys and games at Amazon and Christopher Harrs, executive vice president and general counsel, corporate secretary at Spin Master were elected by the membership to first official terms having been elected by the board in June 2019.

Directors elected to second terms included Michael Keaton, CEO, ToySmith, Timothy Kilpin, CEO and president, Second Childhood, Andrew Quartin, CEO, Thames & Kosmos, and, Andrew Weiner, chief advisor, Toy `N Around.

Directors elected to a third and final term included Jennifer Caveza, senior vice president, toys, ViacomCBS, Charlie Emby, co-president, Just Play, Skip Kodak, executive vice president, Americas, LEGO Systems, and Geoffrey Walker, president & CEO, KidKraft, Inc.

“The combined talents of The Toy Association professional staff together with the ongoing role of strong governance, and strategic and financial oversight through the Board of Directors, ensures the Association’s services and commitment to the toy and play community will continue to be best of class,” said John Gessert, president & CEO of American Plastic Toys and current chairman of The Toy Association’s Nominating Committee.

“We are privileged to have ten active board members reelected to new terms, retain other invaluable members with terms not yet expiring, and blessed to have two outstanding new members in Melissa Millo and Sharon Price John. The diversity and range of business perspectives represented on The Toy Association board augur well for the future.”

The Annual General Meeting also marked the end of the successful two-year chairmanship term of Bob Wann, chief playmonster of PlayMonster, and the announced election of Skip Kodak, executive vice president, Americas at LEGO.

Wann will become chairman emeritus and take over the role of chairman of the Board Nominating Committee and as such will serve as a member of the chairman’s Advisory Committee.

The Toy Association’s new Executive Committee elected by the board members on February 21 during its winter meeting will include Skip Kodak of LEGO Systems as chairman; Geoffrey Walker of KidKraft as vice chairman, Jennifer Caveza of ViacomCBS as secretary/treasurer; and Timothy Kilpin of Second Childhood and Steve Totzke of Mattel as members at large.

Toy Association president & CEO Steve Pasierb will continue to serve on the Executive Committee in an ex officio role.

Kodak has thanked the departing chairman Wann before making an additional four appointments to the chairman’s Advisory Committee to serve two-year terms: Ashley Mady, director of brand development, Basic Fun, Kathleen Campisano, global chief marketing officer, ChizComm, Glenn Abell, president and general manager US, Moose Toys, and Andy Keimach, president, V-Tech Electronics North America.

Departing advisory members include board chairman emeritus Soren Torp Laursen, board member at Mattel; board chairman emeritus John Gessert, president and CEO at American Plastic Toys, and board advisor Richard Barry, President & CEO at TRU Kids, Inc.

The meeting included remarks from Pasierb, who spoke of The Toy Association’s continued achievements to protect and promote members’ businesses during 2019, despite the negative impacts of China tariffs, a challenging retail environment, and increases in counterfeit and IP-infringing products from overseas.

He highlighted key aspects of The Toy Association’s 2020 action plan. An overview of The Toy Association’s 2019 fiscal results, 2020 budget, and continued healthy and sustainable financial position were also provided.

“With the strength of our new and returning Board members, Advisory Members and Executive Committee – all of whom possess deep and complementary experience and leverage in the toy and play community – the Association is certain to increase its already profound positive global impact in protecting and promoting both our member companies and the broader toy manufacturing and retailer community,” said Pasierb, Toy Association president & CEO.

“Together with the leadership of Skip Kodak we bring to life our belief in being a unifying force for the toy and play community’s creativity, responsibility, and global success, advocating for their needs and championing the benefits of play.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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